The Science Network's first public event, this landmark symposium assembles the world's leading experts to explore the contentious issue of stem cell research. Held one month before California voted on Proposition 71, this timely event was - and remains - an essential resource for concerned citizens.
Saturday, October 2
Panel 1: Science
Panel 2: Ethics
Panel 2: Policy
Brian Alexander, author and journalist, has written on biotechnology issues, including cloning and embryonic stem cells, since 1994, focusing on the intersection of culture, politics and science. He is a former contributing editor for biotechnology at Wired magazine and has written for the Los Angeles Times Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, the Boston Globe, Esquire, Science, and many other magazines and newspapers. He is a two-time finalist for the National Magazine Award and is the author of two books, including Rapture: How Biotech Became the New Religion (Basic Books 2003).
Rev. Nicanor Austriaco is a Catholic priest in the Order of Friars Preachers, also known as the Dominicans. He earned his PhD in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 1997, following a religious conversion, Austriaco entered the Order of Friars Preachers. He was ordained a priest in May of 2004. Austriaco has intellectual interests both in genetics and in moral theology. His research in biology has been published in Cell, the Journal of Cell Biology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, among others. His essays in bioethics have been published in the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Studia Moralia, Ethics and Medics, and the Linacre Quarterly. Austriaco also serves as a scientific advisor at the National Catholic Bioethics Center.
Roger Bingham is a member of the research faculty at the Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego, where he focuses on theoretical evolutionary neuroscience. He is also a member of the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute, La Jolla. He is co-author of The Origin of Minds: Evolution, Uniqueness, and the New Science of the Self (Harmony Books, December 2002). Before he joined the Center for Brain and Cognition, he was a visiting associate in biology at the California Institute of Technology, and the creator and host of award-winning PBS science programs on evolutionary psychology and cognitive neuroscience. His many honors for communication of science include the National Magazine Award, seven Los Angeles Emmy awards, the American Psychological Association Award for Excellence in Television, and the Writer's Guild of America award for Outstanding Documentary Script.
Colin Blakemore is the Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council, the principal funding agency for stem cell research in Britain. He is also Waynflete Professor of Physiology, at the University of Oxford. He studied medical sciences at Cambridge, received his PhD at Berkeley, California, and taught for 11 years in Cambridge before taking up the Waynflete Chair of Physiology at Oxford in 1979. His research is concerned with vision and the early development of the brain. He has been President of the British Neuroscience Association, the Physiological Society and the new Biosciences Federation. He has also been President and Chairman of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Susan J. Fisher is Professor and Co-Director of the Program in Human Stem Cell Biology, at University of California, San Francisco. Her research spans several disciplines, from the role of carbohydrate structures in cell adhesion to human placental cell biology in normal pregnancy and in pregnancy complications including preterm labor and preeclampsia. Recently, her group has developed a novel strategy for deriving new human embryonic stem cell lines. She has served on several NIH panels. Most recently she chaired the Reproductive Biology Study Section. Honors received during the last four years include the Sadler Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 2000; an NIH MERIT Award, 2000; the UCSF Graduate Association Outstanding Mentor Award, 2002; and the Anita Payne Lectureship (U of Mich.), 2003.
Marye Anne Fox is the Chancellor of the University of California, San Diego. Prior to her appointment at San Diego, Fox spent six years at North Carolina State University as Chancellor and distinguished professor of chemistry and 22 years at the University of Texas, where she was an assistant professor of organic chemistry, vice president of research, and held the Waggoner Regents Chair in chemistry. She has also been a visiting professor at Harvard University, University of Iowa, University of Chicago, Universit Pierre et Marie Currie in Paris, and the Chemistry Research Promotion Center in Taipei. Fox serves on the National Academy of Sciences both as an elected member and in its executive committee. She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an elected member of the American Philosophical Society. Her numerous awards include the Charles Lathrop Parsons Award for 2005 from the American Chemical Society. Fox serves on many boards, including the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the National Academy's Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable, and the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. Fox received her PhD from Dartmouth College.
Fred H. Gage is Adler Professor in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute and adjunct professor at UCSD. He received his PhD in 1976 from Johns Hopkins University. Gage's work concentrates on the adult central nervous system and unexpected plasticity and adaptability to environmental stimulation that remains throughout the life of all mammals. In addition, his studies focus on the cellular, molecular, as well as environmental influences that regulate neurogenesis from stem cells in the adult brain and spinal cord. Prior to joining Salk, Gage was a Professor of Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. Gage also served as president of the Society for Neuroscience in 2002. In addition, he has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, among them the 1993 Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievements in Health and Education, the Christopher Reeve Research Medal in 1997, the 1999 Max Planck Research Prize, and the MetLife Award in 2002.
John Gearhart is C. Michael Armstrong Professor of Medicine at the Institute of Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins, and was responsible for leading the research team that was first able to isolate and characterize pluripotent stem cells from humans. In 1970, He received his PhD from Cornell in Genetics, Development & Embryology. After being an Associate Professor of Anatomy at University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Gearhart joined the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1980. He is a professor in Physiology, Comparative Medicine, and Gynecology & Obstetrics in the School of Medicine and in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has received several scientific honors including the Basil O'Connor Starter Research Award from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievements. He was selected as a Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Scholar in Mental Retardation.
Lawrence S.B. Goldstein is Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. He is also an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Goldstein received his PhD degree in genetics from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1980. He was Assistant, Associate and Full Professor at Harvard University in the Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology from 1984-1993 and moved to UCSD and HHMI in 1993. His awards include a Senior Scholar Award from the Ellison Medical Foundation, an American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award, and the Loeb Chair in Natural Sciences when he was at Harvard University. His research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of intracellular movement in neurons and the role of transport dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases. His lab provided the first molecular descriptions of kinesin structure and organization, and has recently discovered important links between transport processes and diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease and Huntington's Disease. Goldstein has also had an active role in National Science policy. As a co-founder and consultant of the biotechnology company Cytokinetics he has also had an active role in private industry.
Louis M. Guenin is Lecturer on Ethics in Science in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, at Harvard Medical School. His principal interests are distributive justice, the ethics of research, and philosophy of science. He is editor of a forthcoming issue of Synthese on candor in science. He has discussed the morality of embryonic stem cell research in recent papers (including Science  and Nature Biotechnology ), Congressional testimony, and a book in progress. He is a member of the American Philosophical Association, has served the federal government as a consultant on research ethics, and is co-chair of the Ethics Committee, International Society for Stem Cell Research.
Suzanne Holland is Associate Professor of Religious and Social Ethics and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. She is also Affiliate Associate Professor in the Department of Medical History and Ethics of the University of Washington School of Medicine. Holland received a doctorate in Religion & Society (Ethics) from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Holland's research interests range from the ethics of new genetic technologies , stem cell research, biotechnology and commodification, to broader issues in religion, culture and public policy. She is co-editor (with Laurie Zoloth and Karen Lebacqz) of the first book published on the human stem cell controversy: The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate: Science, Ethics & Public Policy (The MIT Press, 2001). Holland has been a frequent speaker at conferences on biotechnology, genetics, and stem cell research. She was Chair of the Bioethics and Religion Group of the American Academy of Religion, and served as 2001 Program Committee co-Chair of the American Association of Bioethics and Humanities. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union for Washington State. As a matter of historical significance in field of biotechnology, at the end of 1996, she convened an ethics consultation for a then-start-up biotechnology company, Geron Corporation, which is now the driving force behind human embryonic stem cell research.
William B. Hurlbut is a physician and Consulting Professor in the Program in Human Biology at Stanford University. After receiving his medical training at Stanford University, he completed postdoctoral studies in theology and medical ethics, studying with Robert Hamerton-Kelly, the Dean of the Chapel at Stanford, and subsequently with the Rev. Louis Bouyer of the Institut Catholique de Paris. In addition to teaching at Stanford, he currently serves on the President's Council on Bioethics. His primary areas of interest involve the ethical issues associated with advancing biomedical technology, the biological basis of moral awareness, and studies in the integration of theology and philosophy of biology. Since 1998 he has been a member of the Chemical and Biological Warfare working group at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and has worked with NASA on projects in Astrobiology.
Patricia A. King is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Medicine, Ethics and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University. Her research and teaching are in the areas of family law and law and bioethics, with specific interests in the legal, ethical and policy issues related to genetic technologies, regenerative medicine, women's health, reproductive rights and reproductive technologies. She is the co-author of Cases and Materials on Law, Science and Medicine and has published many articles concerning law, ethics and biomedical policy. She currently serves as a member of the Boards of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, National Partnership for Women and Families and as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Wheaton College. King has been a member of a number of policy bodies concerned with bioethics. She also served on President Clinton's Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments and Health Care Task Force. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine (NAS), the American Law Institute, and a Fellow of the Hastings Center. King is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
Roger Pedersen is Professor of Regenerative Medicine and Director of the Stem Cell Medicine Center at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute. His research is concerned with finding methods that will induce stem cells to specialize into specific tissues that could then be utilized for clinical purposes. Before moving to Cambridge in 2001, he was a professor at the University of California, San Francisco.
Duane J. Roth is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp. Prior to co-founding Alliance, Roth held senior management positions at American Home Products (now Wyeth) and Johnson & Johnson operating companies. He is a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committees of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the California Healthcare Institute (CHI), and BIOCOM (Chairman). He serves on a number of advisory committees and boards of the University of California, including the President's Board on Science and Innovation, CONNECT, The Cardiovascular Center, The San Diego Science and Technology Council, the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Preuss Charter School, and as Past Chairman of the UC San Diego Foundation Board. Roth also serves on the Board of San Diego State University College of Business Administration. He is a graduate of Iowa Wesleyan College, where he serves as a trustee.
Terrence Sejnowski is an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and directs the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. He is also a professor of biology, physics, and neurosciences as the University of California at San Diego and directs the Institute for Neural Computation. He has written numerous articles and books including, The Computational Brain and Liars, Lovers, and Heroes: What the New Brain Science Reveals About How We Become Who We Are. Sejnowski is the Editor-in-Chief of Neural Computation, which he founded in 1989, and is the President of the Neural Information Processing Systems Foundation. He has received many awards including the Harvey Mudd College Wright Prize for excellence in interdisciplinary research and the International Neural Network Society's Hebb Prize for his contributions to learning algorithms. In 2002, Sejnowski became a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and that same year received their Neural Network Pioneer Award. He was elected to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2003. Sejnowski received his PhD from Princeton University.
Bernard Siegel is the founder and Executive Director of the Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) based in Coral Gables, Florida. He received his law degrees from the University of Miami. In 2003, he traded his 30-year courtroom career to found the Genetics Policy Institute dedicated to establishing an international legal framework to advance scientific research for cures. GPI opposes reproductive cloning. It supports policies to advance and regulate nuclear transfer and endorses the funding of embryonic stem cell research. In June, GPI staged the "Science Conference: Human Cloning Issues in all its aspects" for the United Nations.
James A. Thomson is John D. MacArthur Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School. He received his doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1985 and his doctorate in molecular biology in 1988, both at the University of Pennsylvania, and is board certified in veterinary pathology. Thomson directed the group that reported the first isolation of embryonic stem cell lines from a non-human primate in 1995, work that led his group to the first successful isolation of human embryonic stem cell lines in 1998. His research focus is on the mechanisms of embryonic stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency, but he is also collaborating with other groups on embryonic stem cell differentiation to hematopoietic, cardiac, pancreatic, and neural cells.
Alan Trounson is a Professor at the Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories, leading its In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Scientific team. His research in the 1970s helped to make IVF a practical method of helping with human infertility. After receiving his PhD from Sydney University in 1974, he was awarded the Dalgety International Research Fellowship at the Agricultural Research Council's Unit of Reproductive Physiology and Biochemistry in Cambridge. In 1985 Trounson was appointed as Director of the Centre for Early Human Development, Monash University and in 1990 he became the Deputy Director of the Institute of Reproduction & Development. He has received numerous awards including a Personal Chair at Monash University in 1991, the Wellcome Australia Award in 1992, the British Fertility Society Patrick Steptoe Memorial Medal in 1994, Singapore's Benjamin Henry Sheares Medal in O&G in 1995, and most recently, in 2004 the Bertarelli Foundation Award in Reproductive Health for his outstanding contribution to the field of assisted reproductive technologies.
Irving Weissman is the Karel and Avice Beekhuis Professor of Cancer Biology and Director of Institute of Cancer and Stem Cell biology, Stanford, as well as Chair of the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Scientific and Medical Aspects of Human Cloning. In 1988, he was the first to isolate and identify hematopoietic stem cells in mice, and later in humans. In 2002, he was named as the California Scientist of the Year for his research in stem cells. Weissman is a graduate of Stanford Medical School.
Ian Wilmut is Professor and Head of the Department of Gene Expression and Development, Roslin Institute. He is the leader of the team that produced Dolly, the first animal to develop after nuclear transfer from an adult cell. The present objectives of the research group are to determine the molecular mechanisms that are important for normal development of cloned embryos and to use that knowledge in biology, medicine and agriculture. Potential applications include the derivation of human cells for research into human genetic diseases, the provision of organs for transplantation and the cloning and modification of animals in agriculture.
Paul Root Wolpe is a Senior Fellow of the Center of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, where he holds appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry, Medical Ethics, and Sociology. He is the Director of the Program in Psychiatry and Ethics at Penn, and is a Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics. Wolpe also serves as the first Chief of Bioethics for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and is the first National Bioethics Advisor for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. An Associate Editor of the American Journal of Bioethics, he is a regular columnist on biotechnology for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Laurie Zoloth is Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics and of Religion, as well as Director of Bioethics at the Center for Genetic Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is the former President of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, and is currently the chair of the Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute's Ethics Advisory Board. She is a member of NASA's National Advisory Council, the nation's highest civilian space policy board, and serves on NASA's Planetary Protection Advisory Committee. Zoloth is the author and editor of five books, including, with Suzanne Holland, The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate. She was on the founding international directorates of the ASBH, the ISSCR, the Society for Scriptural Reasoning, and the Society for Jewish Ethics. In 2002, she was elected as Fellow to the Hastings Center, is the director of the international research project on Jewish responses to genetic science, sponsored by the AAAS, the Greenwald Fund, and the Haas Foundation, and is the co-PI of an NIH-ELSI project on Genetics, Identity, Family and Citizenship. She has been invited to testify about the ethics of stem cells to both the National Bioethics Advisory Committee and the National Academy of Science.